Harnett County Manager Brent Trout is recommending a 16 cents reduction in property tax rates and an increase in fire taxes for two districts in a proposed budget for the July 1 fiscal year.
LILLINGTON — Harnett County Manager Brent Trout is recommending a 16 cents reduction in property tax rates and an increase in fire taxes for two districts in a proposed budget for the July 1 fiscal year. The decrease will still amount to an increase in property tax bills, but on a smaller scale compared to the county’s current tax rate with new property values.
“The property tax revaluation increased our assessed values by approximately $3.8 billion,” Trout said in a budget message May 16. “The growth that we have experienced has pushed valuations of homes and properties to levels never seen before in Harnett County. The appeal process for property owners is still ongoing, so a clear amount of change that may occur to the total valuation is not known at this time.”
The county is estimating it will lose 16.6% of property values at the end of the appeal process.
Harnett County’s current property tax rate is 75 cents for every $100 of property value. This known valuation reduced by the expected valuation loss leads to a revenue neutral tax rate of $0.561 per $100 valuation.
“The revenues in total compared to expenses for a continuation budget leaves a deficit,” Trout noted in his budget message. “In addition, the rapid growth in the County and the priorities of the board requires us to find additional resources.
“In order to meet these needs, I am recommending the new tax levy rate to be $0.591/$100. The rate of $0.591 is $0.03 more than the revenue neutral rate. The proposed rate is a reduction of $0.159/$100 in levy rate from the current rate of $0.75/$100.”
Trout is recommending a 10% increase across the board for rescue squads from the general fund and an increase in tax rates for two fire departments.
People residing in the Angier-Black River Fire District will see a 2 cents increase for every $100 of property value for fire service if the recommended rate increase from 7 cents to 9 cents per $100 is approved.
“Angier requested a 3-cent increase, but I am recommending a 2-cent increase. The main reason for the increase is to hire four full-time staff at the fire station on a 24/7/365 basis,” Trout said in his budget message. “This increase will also include an additional exhaust removal system.”
People residing in the Boone Trail Fire District will see a 3 cents increase for every $100 of property value after the 7-cents rate was recommended to rise to 10 cents.
“Boone Trail requested a 3-cent tax increase. I am recommending a 3-cent increase,” Trout said. “The department has not had an increase since 1982. The additional revenue will increase employee pay, hire an additional part-time firefighter, renovate bunkrooms, cover a roof replacement, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, and begin the process of vehicle replacement.”
Trout is not recommending an increase in rates for the West Area Fire District.
“West Area requested a 5-cent increase to make the rate equal to what is charged in Cumberland County,” he wrote in his budget message. “I am not recommending an increase in their tax rate. The department ran 38 calls for Harnett County in the past year.”
Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 6 at 9 a.m. at the Harnett County Resource Center & Library, located at 455 McKinney Parkway in Lillington.
County commissioners are scheduled to approve the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget at their June 20 regular meeting.
Visit the Harnett County Government Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/HoxpEcigyMU to see a highlight video of the recommended 2023 budget. A full version of the recommended budget can also be viewed at harnett.org/budget. The budget must be approved by the end of June.
For more information on Harnett County’s budget process, contact the Harnett County Manager’s Office at 910-893-7555.